When Fears May Cease to Be

April 30, 2010

I have fears. I fear that my husband or son will be the victim of a fatal accident. I fear a stranger may try to hurt my son. I fear my son may hurt himself by one day running out into the street or jumping off a balcony. I fear that if such an accident took him from me, I would go completely mad and have to be committed.

Those are the irrational fears. When they surface, I deal with them in the following manner:

1. Count the facts. (My husband and son are strong and healthy. I don't have to worry about Will jumping off a balcony yet because he can't walk. Most accidents that occur in the home or at work are not fatal. My brother was a total spaz growing up and never met with a serious accident. Mental hospitals have nice padded rooms and visiting hours.)

2. Remind myself to focus on one day at a time. Sometimes I get so caught up in worrying about the future that the unpleasant scenarios of an entire decade pass through my head before I remember that the future isn't here yet.

Then there's this question: how do I raise my son into the person he should become when I'm not that person half the time?

I realize now that I was seriously depressed during my high school years, and had I gotten help back then, I could have been a little better off now. Unfortunately, my parents didn't believe in psychiatry or secular counseling back then. If you needed counseling, you went to see a pastor or a designated church counselor--someone who knew you and your family and saw you every week at services. I don't think those people could have handled anything I had to say. And the last thing I needed was for someone to quote two scriptures and try to "pray the Devil out" of me.

Don't get me wrong: I love scripture. Scripture has helped me many times when I have studied it myself. Prayer can also be very healing. But many Christian counselors view depression as a purely spiritual problem, and their approach to dealing with it can inflict major guilt on the person being counseled. After a while, you just don't want to tell them anything serious to avoid the feeling of being totally defective.

I think I'm going to need to seek counseling again after all, even if it means seeing that primary care physician I don't like. This time, I want a psychologist instead of a psychiatrist. All my last psychiatrist cared about was how my medication was working. I also don't want to go back on medication unless I absolutely need to. It does help in a way, but I just don't feel like myself when I'm on it, even with the tiny dose I had. I want someone to talk to, who can put things into perspective for me. Dealing with depression, for me, means facing it head-on--not turning my brain chemistry off.


April 27, 2010

I haven't written lately because I've been angry again. Yes, again. Over some retarded nonsense. A few days ago I completed my slide down into the utter darkness of depression. I've been sitting around wanting to cry, wanting to smash things, wanting to go completely insane. I've even come close to losing patience with William.

My husband says I should call my doctor. Well, I don't want to! My primary care physician is an idiot. She prescribed me Tylenol for numbness in my leg and heartburn medication for an upset stomach. What's up with that??? If you don't know what's wrong, just say so. Don't prescribe useless medication that I have to get filled while my baby screams his head off in the waiting area.

Anyway...the retarded nonsense...

A few weeks ago, I reached out to an old high school friend on Facebook. We haven't really spoken or seen each other in years, and I wanted to catch up with him. So I sent him a message saying, "Wish we could talk." His response: "Is everything ok?" Yeah, sure, why wouldn't it be? Well, that was the end of that. No other response.

I didn't let it get to me at first. After all, I'm sure he's busy. But then...why would he only talk to me if something was amiss? And then it hit me: he must think I'm a charity case.

Oh, boy. Talk about putting a treasured friendship in a different light. My anger is still palpable.

I'll admit, I chased this guy in high school. He was intelligent, respectful, warm and friendly--and more than anything at the time I wanted to date someone who would treat me right. However, nothing more than friendship ever resulted between us, though I always suspected that he liked me at least a little back then.

None of that matters now, though. I mean, we're talking ten years ago! We're now both happily married and far more settled. What does he think I'm going to do? Hit on him? As if!

I considered writing him an email in which I explain what was going on in my head back in high school and apologize for, if ever, making him uncomfortable. But then I thought, what's the point? What difference would it make, if any? He's obviously not interested in communicating with me, so why put myself out there like that?

Instead, I did this: I deleted him from my Facebook friends list. I think doing that has made me feel a little better, mainly because it is different from what I would normally do.

I thought about the situation like this: if he was uncomfortable with talking to me at any point in our "friendship", he should have just told me so. To let me keep believing that we were friends if he was really just "being nice" to me was a pathetic, cowardly, and cruel thing to do.

I know some people might say that my view of the situation is short-sighted or mistaken. But I have nothing else to go on. And taking him off my friends list is better than writing an emotionally charged, potentially embarrassing email. If he sees that he's been dropped from my friends list and feels concerned about it, he can email me.

I wish stuff like this didn't bother me at all.

The Downhill Slide

April 19, 2010

It started yesterday. Maybe it was when I looked in the mirror and was suddenly disgusted by the extra ten pounds hanging off my hips. Maybe it was when I looked into the closet and realized I was tired of wearing the same five shirts and one pair of jeans over and over because I'm stuck in limbo between maternity wear and my "skinny" clothes. Maybe it was when I treated myself to lunch and a movie and felt pathetic for not having a friend to go with me. Or maybe it was when my husband went out to get dinner at Taco Bell and came back with someone else's order, the cheapest item on the menu, sans tomatoes.

You've got to be kidding, right???

The terrible thing about depression is that you can be happily skipping along one minute and...BOOM! Suddenly, your parade is getting rained on. Everything becomes a major annoyance: bills, obligations, phone calls, personal hygiene. You want to stomp, and scream, and go to bed, and not get up.

For a very long time.

Unfortunately, I don't have that luxury. Hardly ever do I have it, and certainly not today. William is counting on me, so I must work through it. The guest bathroom needs cleaning, and the nursery could use some organization. Maybe I'll do that. Accomplishing something tangible, even something small, usually helps.

Alone Again

April 17, 2010

Saturday. That's usually my day to escape for a couple of hours. It's the day I take beading classes at my local bead supplier while hubby watches the little one. Even if I've learned a particular technique before, the class is still fun. I get uninterrupted time to work on a project and great conversation with other women. Granted, they're always 20+ years my senior, but I almost prefer it that way. Older women generally have great life stories to tell.

Today, however, my husband is on duty, so no beading class for me. And William is driving me nuts.

I think the little man is teething. He's so young, though, that I can't give him anything for the pain. So I've spent the past three days listening to him fuss. And fuss. And fuss.

I'm going out of my mind.

It's not that the fussing is so disruptive. I can handle being interrupted during a beading or writing project. It's just that consoling Will is becoming increasingly difficult. I pick him up, he fidgets. I give him my finger or a toy to teethe on, he fusses. I put him down, he cries. And I have trouble telling the difference between his signals for teething and hunger. Sometimes he's screaming before I realize, "Hey, I should get the little bugger a bottle."

Why couldn't I have had just a couple more months of peace?

When I do get a quiet moment beyond the time I spend beading and pacifying Will, I continue looking into grad school. I've decided that I will apply next year in order to qualify for scholarships and additional grant money. Depending on how much aid I can pull down, I may be able to go to school for free. It's looking likely, anyway. I'll also be around the house a little longer to experience some of William's developmental milestones--like when he finally cuts that first tooth.

I'm a little nervous, though, about how much grad school might demand of me. I won't be overloaded with classes, but essays might be a different story. I'm also planning to do the thesis option in case I want a Ph.D. later on. That means TONS of writing and research...and less time for beading and blogging. *Sigh*

As we laid in bed the other night, my husband and I joked (somewhat seriously) about how the demands of grad school might affect our already-limited time together. I suggested that we may have to pencil in some intimacy in my weekly planner between my essays and Will's diaper changes.

No doubt, it's gonna be a wild ride.


April 14, 2010

Only two months ago was William a tiny bundle in his bassinet. Only three weeks ago did he require only formula for a meal. Only a week ago was he happily sucking at my breast.

I know why parents say children grow up so fast. They develop so quickly in the first year, going from tiny, helpless beings to walking, talking people.

I realize these moments with my son as an infant are fleeting. Already has his skin lost that incredible velvety softness it had when he was first born. He's outgrown half of the adorable outfits I received at my baby shower, going from newborn diapers to size twos in the blink of an eye. Today I kiss his soft, little head; who knows when it will be obscured by thick hair? His toothless grins melt my heart, but for how long? He's already teething.

Will I be able to recall these joys years from now? Will I remember the way he gazed into my face as I held him to my breast? Will I remember his first smile? Will I always have the memory of his softness and his sweet baby smell? I can hope.

Perhaps, however, some situations should be fleeting. My husband and I finally managed to work through the tension in our relationship. We once talked late into the night recently, and it was like having my best friend back. Now we're trying to spend more time together, even if it's just cuddling right before sleep. It's tough, though, with William in the picture and all the hobbies I have going. Plus, my husband's superiors ended up assigning his crew duty every other day after all. Not cool. Hopefully, the new schedule won't last long.

Speaking of Dissertations...

April 8, 2010

At last, I've finally made up my mind. I've decided to pursue a Master's degree in English. What did it, you ask? I found a graduate program through Old Dominion University that specializes in English composition. It also offers a certification for people who want to teach writing. It's absolutely perfect for me.

Now the real fun begins. If I want to start this fall, I need to submit my application, get letters of recommendation, take the GRE (Graduate Readiness Exam) and request my transcripts before June 1. If I can accomplish all of that in time and get accepted, then I have to start looking for childcare for William. The thought of leaving him in another's care, even to start this exciting phase of my life, is distressing. I know no one will care for him like I do. My husband informed me a few nights ago that he's taking me out to dinner for Mother's Day, sans baby, and he's arranging the childcare. I nearly freaked. But I know the day I leave William with a sitter must come eventually, and it will be good for me.


He's just too precious.

The day is coming: tumbles, falls, bumps on the head, nightmares. I just want to be there for him. He cries, and I want to cry, too. But we both need to grow beyond each other. And I want him to know that I did everything in my power to fulfil my dreams and reach my full potential.

In Celebration of Spring

April 3, 2010

There's nothing like gorgeous weather to lift one's mood. The weather here has been so beautiful that I decided to celebrate with a poem I wrote when I was in college. Enjoy!

Spring Dissertation

Allow me to digress...
Lie, and wait, and attempt to digest
The spring in me, the time by
Which I would fling dandelions at the sky.
Study a plot while I repose--
Not Moliere, but new grass
Softer than pillows.
Research Picasso's method in cloud formation
And still relinquish compilation
For something slightly less awesome:
Showering in loose cherry blossoms.

Thanks for reading!